During the Ukraine’s initial fifteen years as an independent nation, it is estimated nearly 110,000 people were victims of human trafficking according to figures released by the International Organization for Migration. About 5 percent were teenagers and nearly 18% were men targeted for forced labor. Ukrainians have been sent to virtually every part of the globe by these traffickers in human misery. Ukrainians are mainly sought for construction, agricultural tasks, fishing industries, domestic work and prostitution. Last month the UN Forum to Fight Human Trafficking was held in Vienna in an attempt to create international processes to protect people who are trapped in such forms of modern slavery.
The end of communism in eastern Europe was all too often accompanied by women being trapped in poverty which opened the door for human traffickers to get them headed to many parts of the world where they wound up in prostitution.
Does the UN have a role to play in dealng with sex tourism? Can the UN develop methods both to identify and assist victims? How can UN efforts deal with the plight of street children? These are among the host of questions which must be addressed in the coming years in order to halt this vicious traffic in human flesh.